A call from Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led Aagon Tingba ’07 MPA into a position that has him overseeing the welfare of two million Liberians as Deputy Minister for Administration in the Ministry of Education. A native of Liberia, Aagon returned home to help his nation rebuild after 14 years of civil unrest.
In 2007, following his graduation from the Master's of Public Administration program, Aagon took a position with the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) after being actively recruited. Following his work with the LPRC, he began work with the Public Financial Management Training Program, which offers MBAs to young Liberians. The goal is to strengthen the nation’s development after it was slowed by civil war. In this position, Aagon graduated over 300 young Liberians and placed them into key government ministries and agencies. They are now providing meaningful contributions to the Liberian government.
Now as Deputy Minister for Administration, Aagon is part of the cabinet of the Liberian president and is responsible for implementing the Ministry of Education’s budget and donor funds. The Ministry oversees education from early childhood to primary and secondary education, as well as technical, vocational and tertiary education. He also manages and directs donor support to the Ministry.
“In my post, my education in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has been very helpful,” said Aagon. “The voices and guidance of my professors like Dr. Craig Wheeland, who taught me the mastery of memo writing, negotiations and various cases analysis of real events, as well as my other professors all helped shaped my critical thinking and analysis of issues. These skills now guide my contributions during my work and at cabinet meetings presided over by the President.”
Aagon also remembers one piece of sage advice he heard from former Villanova Public Administration Professor Robert Maranto, PhD, “I remember one thing he told us, ‘You do not want to wake up and read the headlines of The Washington Post in the negative about you, as a public servant.’ I really appreciated the selection of career advice and the experience of public administrators that were presented to us as students.”
Aagon also holds an MBA from St. Joseph’s University and a degree in law from the University of Liberia.